Casting the Net by Pam Rhodes

Neil is a newly ordained Anglican priest with many problems.  First of all, there are too many women in his life, romantic and otherwise.  He is torn between two women, Wendy and Claire.  Wendy would be a perfect helpmeet for him, but there are no sparks between them.  Claire generates a lot of sparks, but is a less than ideal helpmeet for a priest, considering that she is an atheist.  Compounded by mother troubles, forgetfulness, and mis-steps galore, Neil has his hands full.

I liked the idea of this book more than the actual book.  I looked forward to reading it and learning about the life of Anglican priests.  Most of the time when you think of priests, you don’t think of them in relationships or considering marriage.  The characters were interesting and lovable, with surprises and twists in their lives.  I enjoyed reading about how the church was trying to increase the community outreach programs.  I enjoyed the setting of the story in England.

However, on the flip side, one of the reasons why I enjoy reading Christian fiction is because I learn things about a Christian walk through the perspective of the characters.  Throughout this book, there were themes of co-habitation before marriage, physical relationships outside of marriage, and a church leader pursuing a relationship with a non-believer.  While these topics are common place in our society and could be used to demonstrate redemption and God’s saving grace, I felt like the author could have done more.

Overall, it was a nice book and a nice story.  If you enjoy conservative Christian fiction, this might not be the best book for you.  It was a little too liberal for my tastes.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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